Updated Feb. 4
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials took the rapper 21 Savage into custody on Sunday for being in the United States illegally, according to an agency spokesman.
21 Savage, whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was arrested during an operation by federal and local law enforcement authorities in Atlanta, the spokesman, Bryan D. Cox, said in a statement.
Mr. Abraham-Joseph was an “unlawfully present United Kingdom national” who legally entered the United States in 2005 but was supposed to leave the next year, according to the terms of his nonimmigrant visa, Mr. Cox said.
In addition to being in the country unlawfully after 2006, Mr. Abraham-Joseph was convicted of felony drug charges in 2014 in Fulton County, Ga., the statement said.
Mr. Abraham-Joseph faces deportation proceedings and was expected to appear before a federal immigration judge.
“We are working diligently to get Mr. Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with the authorities to clear up any misunderstandings,” Dina LaPolt, Mr. Abraham-Joseph’s lawyer, said in a statement on Sunday night.
In a statement on Monday, representatives of Mr. Abraham-Joseph said that he “has never hid his immigration status from the US government.”
“As a minor, his family overstayed their work visas,” the statement said, and Mr. Abraham-Joseph “was left without legal status through no fault of his own.”
His arrest came after he performed at the Super Bowl Music Fest at the State Farm Arena on Thursday.
Mr. Abraham-Joseph has been nominated for a Grammy for Record of the Year for “Rockstar,” a song with the rapper Post Malone. Mr. Abraham-Joseph’s album “I Am > I Was” opened at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in January. He is known for his flat delivery and subdued rap style.
Mr. Abraham-Joseph has long maintained that he was from Atlanta. In August, he gave backpacks and games to children in Atlanta during an annual drive called Issa Back 2 School Drive.
“Mr. Abraham-Joseph is a role model to the young people in this country, especially in Atlanta,” Ms. LaPolt said. She added that Mr. Abraham-Joseph was “actively working in the community leading programs to help underprivileged youths in financial literacy.”
In a 2016 interview with VladTV, an urban news YouTube channel, Mr. Abraham-Joseph was asked where he grew up and he listed all the neighborhoods in Atlanta he had previously lived in.
“I grew up on the East Side, Glenwood, Decatur,” Mr. Abraham-Joseph says. “I done grew up in all Atlanta really, everybody know me. If you don’t, you ain’t from this city.”